Today’s News - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

●  We try to stay away from politics, but after hearing Trump say last night: "To everyone still recovering" from hurricanes, wild fires, mudslides, etc., "we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together," this really sticks in our craw: FEMA plans to "officially shut off" its food and water aid to Puerto Rico - as of today! "This was apparently a surprise to the Puerto Rico government."

●  Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security issues waivers to get around environmental and historic preservation laws (about 30!) to fast-track an 18-foot-tall wall along a 20-mile-long stretch of the New Mexico/Mexico border (lawsuits already in motion).

●  Can't pin the blame on Calatrava this time: Newly-disclosed documents show that his Margaret McDermott Bridge in Dallas "began to crack up under the stress of high winds - Calatrava consistently urged the city to get the proper testing done and even offered to lend the city money to cover the cost."

●  Post-Grenfell grief: "London estates are freezing and damp after cladding and insulation were removed" (only 3 of 26 buildings "have had full replacements put in").

●  A report by the U.K.'s Creative Industries Federation calls on the government to make hiring foreign architects easier, post-Brexit, or "the competitiveness of British building design practices would be damaged."

●  On to brighter news: In the mountains on the outskirts of Manila, Batulao Artscapes is "the world's first live-in art park" developed by Revolution Pre-crafted, a rising star in the pre-fab world, with houses by starchitects, and four (4!) museums by Pritzker winners (whose name isn't on the list!).

●  Moore considers engineered timber's rising star as "the 'new concrete.' Mild-mannered, unassuming timber has gone into a phone box and come out as a super-substance" - CLT is "going mainstream."

●  Volner profiles Lever Architects, a firm that is turning "lumber construction into an art form" by "recasting the humble material as an urbane powerhouse, one project at a time."

●  Jen cheers KPMB's "remarkable" Remai Modern in Saskatoon, Canada, that "elevates the quality of the city's architecture to a level not seen since the 1960s with its confidence, elegance, gravitas and power" (all while being "hemmed in" by a freeway and "buildings of distressing mediocrity").

●  Gordon parses how new education architecture is addressing changing needs as universities go online, and "following the workplace revolution" with "spaces that are open and adaptable."

●  Marriott signs up for the $3 billion Water Street Tampa project with plans for a luxury hotel with a focus on wellness (and WELL standards).

●  Ulam's Q&A with Signe Nielsen re: "how we can better safeguard the public realm and her concerns that planners will start fencing off public spaces with an excessive number of bollards."

●  Preservationists and Bunshaft/Noguchi fans are none too pleased with plans to plop planters into the middle of the plaza of Lower Manhattan's "celebrated" 140 Broadway and make "changes that would discourage food vendors" (who feed thousands of office workers in the nabe).

●  Hickman offers an in-depth, well-researched take on Dunlop's proposal to build a 25-mile bridge between Scotland with Northern Ireland that some politicians are getting behind - there's "a fair amount of skepticism" (minus the Boris Johnson-level ridicule), but "many are opting to don rose-colored glasses."

●  A wonderful round-up of mimetic architecture, "the 'ducks' left the highways and became gimmicky tourist attractions," and more recent, "subtler" ducks "using understated motifs to hint at a building's function" (a "golden turd" included).

Winners all:

●  Litt lauds a stellar shortlist of nine semifinalists vying to design the Cleveland Public Library's Martin Luther King Jr. Branch.

●  A great presentation of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture/ACSA 2017-2018 Architectural Education Award winners.

●  Eyefuls of the winners of the "New Central Part of Borovets" for the Bulgarian ski resort.


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